Friday, October 11, 2013

First N64 Mod Update

I've been working on my Nintendo 64 off and on for a few weeks. I have added a few mods to it including a back-light on the logo, a fan on the top, and some various LED's. I plan on doing a few more mods before calling it finished. But here I'm showing my attempt at a paint job and side lighting. The paint job didn't turn out how I wanted.
Click "Read More" to see the rest.

To fit the fan in I had to cut most of the inside plastic out around the jumper-pak. I can't find my dremel so I cut it out with a razor blade and a pair of tin snips. Then smoothed it down with a drum sander on the drill press.
On the top vent, just below where the cartridge goes in, I cut out an opening for the fan to push out. Doing it like this allowed only half the fan to be visible. It's hit or miss whether people like the fan on the top. I'll show it in another picture.

I used bondo to cover over the jumper pack slot. I figured once it's in there it doesn't need to come out, and if i do need to replace it I made it so I can open the case and plug it in before I close it back up. I don't think the bondo was good. It was kind of old. You can see in the picture with the paint how it turned out.

Sanding the bondo and case. You really have to be careful using an electric sander to do this. If you stay in one area for any significant time the plastic will start to melt. I sanded down all areas I planned on painting. The case, the buttons, controller ports, feet, and cartridge flaps. You can see that the bondo, even after sanding, doesn't look good. At this point I knew I was going to need to redo the bondo and paint. but I wanted to give it the first coat anyway to see how it might turn out.

I went with gold and black because the fan I installed was a shiny gold. The pieces I painted gold actually turned out really well. The black on the other hand looks terrible. It will take some more sanding and more bondo to finally get this thing looking smooth. If anyone has any suggestions on what to use to smooth this finish out and cover up the blotchy bondo job I'm all ears.

The inside of the 64, you can see how I mounted the fan. Not the best job but it sits firm and does the trick. It is clearly just cosmetic and isn't connected to the heat-sink, however it does have good air flow. I ran the fan from the 12V line to 2 current limiting resistors to run the fan on around 7 volts. It does make a little noise, but I'm ok with that. I can always throw more resistance in. There are, as of right now, 6 LED's installed. 2 super bright blue for the side vents, 1 white for the indicator light, 1 broad view white LED for the logo back light, and 2 orange LED's to glow the fan.

These pictures don't really do it justice. I'm going to add 6 more orange LED's to the fan to give it a better ambiance. I may even put a plastic film disc inside to make it glow instead of being able to see the tops of the LED's. The logo looks 100% better in person. I need to find a good way to mount the blue LED's. They look great but right now they are just sitting there.

UPDATE 10-19-13

I sanded the bondo back down and set it up to be painted again. This time instead of simply placing the case on the stool I used cookies. Not to be confused with chocolate chip. the cookies basically keep what your painting off the table.

First coat of paint by itself covered the bondo, and at a close look you cant tell the difference.

Second Coat.

Third and final coat after drying and assembly. It looks AMAZING!

Here it is turned on in my entertainment center.

Future plans for this include an Everdrive 64 Flashcart to play ROMs of 64 and SNES games, overclocking to get better frame rates(although it doesn't seem to make very much difference), and adding RGB video instead of the RCA that comes out right now. Before I do the RGB mod though, I may just mod the cable and make it S-Video. It is a pretty quick hack considering the cable already has the pins for it.

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed.
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